by Michael Prihoda

We lived in the country. My father did what he wanted. One day, I came home to an ostrich, tied up to the basketball hoop in the front drive, the ostrich’s paws (or whatever they have for feet) making noises against the gravel exactly like how bubble wrap sounds when it gets popped, I swear.

My little brother named the ostrich Steve, which my dad said was dumb, but I and my little brother called it Steve anyway for the three months we had it.

One day, I came home and my father had left. But we still had that ostrich.

Until it broke free of its tether and ran off. My brother and I played a lot of basketball after that.

Michael Prihoda is a poet and artist, living in the Midwest. He is the founding editor of After the Pause. His publications can be found in various journals. He loves animal crackers and instagrams @michaeldprihoda.